China calls for ‘restraint’ after India’s air strikes on JeM’s biggest training camp in Pakistan

New Delhi: China on Tuesday urged New Delhi and Islamabad to “exercise restraint” after Indian Air Force jets pounded a terrorist camp across the Line of Control, two weeks after the Pulwama terror attack.

“I want to say that India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia. A sound relationship and cooperation between the two serves the interests of both the countries and peace and stability in South Asia,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

“We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint and do more to improve mutual their bilateral relations,” he added, reports PTI.

India carried out “non-military, pre-emptive air strikes” across the Line of Control early on Tuesday morning to target the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which was planning more attacks in the country, government officials in New Delhi said.

India struck the biggest camp of JeM eliminating a “very large number” of terrorists, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale. Some 300 terrorists were killed in the Indian Air Force strike at around 3.30 am, top government sources told NDTV. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighter jets had dropped 1,000 kg bombs on the camp at Balakot.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed was responsible for the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, in which 40 soldiers were killed.

After the Pulwama attack, China had expressed “deep sympathies” to the families of the deceased CRPF jawans. In its condolence message to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had said that his country “resolutely opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism,” but the statement did not make any reference to Pakistan.

China also tried to stall a United Nations Security Council statement naming Jaish-e-Mohammed after the Pulwama attack. China has long used its veto power to scuttle a move by India at the UN to put Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar on a global terror list.

(With inputs from PTI)